Phonics/Word Study/Decoding

For some struggling readers, the difficulties start as they try to sound out words. Older readers with weak phonics and decoding skills have specific needs that must be met before they can progress. Articles in this section shed light on the topic, and provide examples of ways teachers and parents can help.

Root Words, Roots and Affixes

By: Elaine K. McEwan (2011)

Familiarity with Greek and Latin roots, as well as prefixes and suffixes, can help students understand the meaning of new words. This article includes many of the most common examples.

Phonics Instruction for Middle and High School ELLs

By: Kristina Robertson and Colorín Colorado (2009)

While it may seem the most expedient solution, it is not appropriate to put an older ELL student in a lower grade to receive the appropriate reading instruction. Age-appropriate activities integrated with academic content give older students the opportunity to make progress as readers.

Key Literacy Component: Morphology

By: National Institute for Literacy (2008)

Morphology describes how words are formed from building blocks called morphemes, the smallest unit of meaning in a word. Students who don’t understand this structure have trouble recognizing, understanding, and spelling words. Find out how proper instruction can help them learn this key skill.

Key Literacy Component: Decoding

By: National Institute for Literacy (2008)

Decoding is the ability to correctly decipher and identify a word from a string of letters. Students who struggle with decoding are at a disadvantage, but explicit instruction can help them learn this skill.

Spelling Supports Reading

By: Louisa Moats (2005)

Many readers are puzzled by the rules and exceptions of spelling. Research has shown, however, that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge. Read this article to learn more about the relationships between letters and sounds, and how a proper understanding of spelling mechanics can lead to improved reading.


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